Dimensions of parents' attitudes to unhealthy foods and beverages

Simone Pettigrew, Michelle Jongenelis, Pascale Quester, Kathy Chapman, Caroline Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Effective health interventions rely on a detailed understanding of the target audience's attitudes relevant to the desired behavioural change. In the context of obesity interventions targeting parents, understanding parents' attitudes to unhealthy foods and beverages is necessary to overcome barriers to adopting recommended behaviours. The aim of the present study was to assess the factors influencing parents' attitudes to unhealthy foods and beverages to identify potential elements to incorporate into future obesity prevention programs. A sample of 1302 parents responded to an online survey that assessed their perceptions of the two product categories of soft drinks and energy dense, nutrient poor (EDNP) foods. Overall, attitudes to these products were favourable, with perceived convenience and enjoyment receiving higher scores than value for money and health considerations. The results suggest that interventions designed to improve children's diets should aim to enhance perceptions of the convenience and taste of healthier alternatives, while also addressing factors such as food advertising and child pestering that can influence parents' attitudes to unhealthy products.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Sept 2015


  • Attitudes
  • Intervention design
  • Parents
  • Unhealthy beverages
  • Unhealthy food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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